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Thread: Lily (Evans) Potter

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by meryal
    I'm working on a James/Lily one-shot and I'm trying to avoid the clishe of her being afraid of heights. In my fic, she is good at flying, but since she's good at flying, she's suddenly intellegent, athletic(ish), and pretty. What clear flaw could she have that stands out enough to keep her from being a Mary-Sue?
    She can be quite stubborn when she wants to, you can incorprate that.

  2. #52
    I'm working on a James/Lily one-shot and I'm trying to avoid the clishe of her being afraid of heights. In my fic, she is good at flying, but since she's good at flying, she's suddenly intellegent, athletic(ish), and pretty. What clear flaw could she have that stands out enough to keep her from being a Mary-Sue?
    I don't know how well this might fit into your one-shot, but give her some family issues - other than a troublesome sister; that's too cliché. If that won't work, give her some clear personality trait that's a problem - such as (the already mentioned) stubbornness, or being too protective or unwilling to live life on the edge - like fear of failure, so she never tries anything new. Or, if all else fails, give her some physical ailment that impairs her ability to do something (like duckfeet or bowlegged-ness or weak circulation in her legs - all really random, I know).

    Hope that helps!

  3. #53
    Fourth Year Gryffindor
    McGonagall Likes My Quidditch Skills
    moonymaniac's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Buried under a huge WIP
    I don't really think she needs a clear flaw that stands out. I think if you try to emphasise something like that, without a significant need for the story line, it can often be a signal to readers that you are just trying hard not to make a Mary Sue. The traits that you have given her, plus the ones she clearly had in canon don't add up to a cliche, not in my mind anyway. I think she was all of those things. Lily was obviously popular and there are reasons for that. As long as you don't write her by dwelling on the characteristics constantly, ie. everytime she comes into a scene her emerald green eyes sparkle and her luminous red hair swings gloriously around her shoulders...I think you'll be okay with Lily. As others have said in the Your Mary Sue thread, I believe it is more the way you write them than the characteristics you give, that will turn your character into a Mary Sue.

    She was intelligent, but she wasn't the most gifted at everything. According to Remus, that was Sirius and James. She might have been gifted at Potions and we are led to believe she was good at Charms because of what Ollivander said about her wand, yet she might well have struggled with at least one subject a bit. Most people do. Maybe she didn't find Transfiguration to be easy. I wouldn't go so far as to make her awful at it, unless it helps your plot along, but she could be annoyed with James for showing off when she found something difficult. Personally, I never got the impression she was on the Quidditch team, but that doesn't mean she can't be good at flying. It doesn't even mean she couldn't have been on the team, if you need her to be for plot purposes, but James was the star/hero of the team, from what I can gather.

    If it were me, I wouldn't give Lily a glaringly obvious flaw. It would be subtle things like a bit of a stubborn streak like bling_baby suggests, or making a bad decision like deciding to go along with a friend in a stupid prank when she knew better, rather than always getting on the Marauders for their stupid actions. DH Spoiler: She knew she shouldn't be snooping in Petunia's things, but she went along with Snape and read the letter. Granted she was only eleven then, but that gives you a precedent not to make her always follow every rule or be as tough a rule enforcer when she is a prefect as say Percy probably was. I don't think she was a goody two shoes just because she gets all over James in Snape's Worst Memory. James was tormenting her oldest and once dearest friend at Hogwarts and she still almost laughed at Snape's greying pants. /DH Spoiler.] She was great, but she wasn't perfect.

    As far as family issues go, I would just remember that her parents seemed to be very pleased with her and the fact that she was a witch. It was one of the things that Petunia seemed to resent so much. I got the impression they were happy and Lily was happy with her family, up until Petunia became so jealous of her.

    Well, those are some of my thoughts on Lily and the type of things I'm trying to do with her in my own writing. (Though I have an easier time in that she isn't the main character, but I hope it helps us both. )

  4. #54
    Phoebe Gruzelieur
    She needs to be bad at a different subject. I personally don't think she'd be good at Divination. I think she's too practical to hold with that sort of thing.

    Or Care of Magical Creatures. You could make her a bit squeamish.

    I always imagine Lily being a bit of a control freak. Everything HAS to be done her way and she gets quite moody if things aren't done how she likes.

  5. #55
    I am writing a lily fic as well and thought I might help.

    I love Lily as a person , , she's funny, lively happy, has a sense of humour, forgiving and optimistic, and of course, very gutsy and braze, but NOT to the point of arroagance.
    She's just great you know....ok ,ok im gushing here...
    ahem, moving on.
    I agree with stubby, you should definitely go for Lily having a wide circle of friends, instead of a cliched 2 or 3... as for a close friend, she has least till their 5th year.
    After that, I think Lily is a frindly enough person to get on well without him, and then there is James Potter.
    Rowling said in an interview to a ques, why did lily marry james if she hated him?
    Jo replied: 'Did she hate him really? Your a woman, you should know.....'
    hehe, it was somehting like that a yway.
    So I think she never hated him from the depths of her heart, she denied him yes, coz she just is that way, she is stubborn. But as she grows up, they both mature and well yea...sniff, sniff....sweetest couple ever in my opinion........

    I would like to think she finds some comfort in him, even before they start going out together...little talks here and there maybe, some smiles and a bit of blushing, fliff stuff but not overly so... sweetness but just right.

    I highly recomment this fic for Lily/James fanatics:
    My Deliveance by Twinsuns

    The writer really knows what she is doing, this is a MUST read.

    Hope I was of help...
    .think i've ranted on enough for now , hehe, bye then.

  6. #56
    Phoebe Gruzelieur
    I think Lily is extremely easy to turn into a Mary-Sue, because we know very little about her. She's clever, pretty and popular. This isn't a good triangle, and I generally try to break it (i.e. make my heroine clever, average-looking and not-at-all popular).

    So. Cleverness - We know Lily was good at Potions, but she doesn't have to be good at every subject! No one is good at everything, not even Hermione. And she doesn't have to be clever all the time. She could get silly, or over-excited from time to time. Try not to make her sensible all the time, or she ends up sounding like a pretty version of Hermione.

    Looks - Lily was obviously pretty, but that doesn't mean she was stunningly beautiful. She probably wasn't stick-thin with perfect hair and clothes. As we only saw her at 9 and 15, she very easily could have had achne or wonky teeth. Give her at least one bad trait, and it's amazing how realistic she'll become.

    Popularity - I read a book recently which was really good, but the heroine (Anna) was really annoying. I stopped to consider why and decided it was because she was just too perfect. She was beautiful. She was clever. Everyone loved her to bits. Giving Lily enemies who hate her for more reasons than she's a Muggleborn will really make us sympathise with her. If someone doesn't like her, we'll always stop to consider why, and so look more deeply into her character.

    Hope that helps you make Lily more than a Mary-Sue!

    Beth: Thorough and informative! 5 points. - awarded

  7. #57
    I'm writing a fic just now and a few chapters in Lily agrees to go on a date with James. it goes quite well but Lily sees it more as a date between friends. James get's false hope as he thinks it's a bit more. basically a week after the date Lily ends up making out with some other guy that she's liked for a while and James finds out.

    Would Lily do this do you think?

  8. #58
    Phoebe Gruzelieur
    Hmmmmmm...[considers thoughtfully]

    Well, you'd have to make it very ambigous from James as to how serious the date is. You'd have to be very careful it doesn't just sound like Lily just loves crushing people's hopes and kissing 100 guys every day. And everyone would have to be IC.

    But it seems like a very interesting idea, and very original!

  9. #59
    Yeah it is sort of ambigous form James. Lily actully says "We're going as friends though, James. Please don't get to hopeful." or something along the lines of that but James is like doing a wee victory dance with Sirius and has selevtive hearing or something. Thanks (:

  10. #60
    Phoebe Gruzelieur
    That sounds really IC for James! (We all know how mad he is!)

    Is it going to be like this?

    [James does a joyous vicory dance out of the room]

    Lily: (Calling after him) But this is just a date between friends, right?

    James: (Outside) Yeah! Of course! Go me! I'm the best. (Or something similar)

    Lily: Good, I just didn't want you to think, you know...

    (James is already prancing down the corridor singing at the top of his voice)

    Is that what you mean?

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